The Michigan chapter of international Muslim organization Who is Hussain? pledged to donate 30,000 bottles of water to Flint, Michigan, where the local, state, and federal governments have all declared a state of emergency over lead contamination in the water supply.
“We saw what needed to be done and we decided to do it. We reached out to schools, neighbours, friends, mosques, anyone and everyone to help us by donating a case of water, or money towards a case,” Dr. Aziza Askari, the head of the non-profit’s chapter told the Washington Times.
Two years ago, Flint officials switched the city’s water source in an attempt to save money, but neglected to take proper precautions. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has received the brunt of the blame, allegedly ignoring citizen complaints of lead in the water for months.
By distributing gifted water bottles, as well as fundraising to buy more, Who is Hussain? hopes to allay some of the burden on the community.
“Prophet Mohammed taught us ‘Your neighbour comes before your own household,’” filmmaker and Who is Hussain? volunteer Mohammed Almawla told the Times. “As a resident of Detroit, this is not only a Flint problem, this is a Michigan problem, and I feel obligated to help to the best of my ability.”
The name Who is Hussain? honors Hussain ibn Ali, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad venerated by Shia Muslims. He was refused water for days before being killed in a massacre. The organization has taken part in blood donations, food drives, and other charity work since 2012.